Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon {Pre-event}

Virgin Sport a brain child of the philanthropist Sir Richard Branson is the new host of the Oxford Half Marathon. Marathons by nature bring people from all walks of life together because they all have one thing in common. The love for running {šŸƒ šŸƒā€ā™€ļø} whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner it’s a great place to meet new people. Whilst the traditional marathons focus more on the participants, Virgin  Sport is looking to involve the community and spectators.


The pre-event to the Half Marathon was held at Sir Richard Branson’s son-in-law (Freddie) home; Branson Estate. It is actually Freddie and his father-in-law who had the idea to host such an incredible event. If hackney Half Marathon is anything to go by then you will be in for a great time at the Oxford Half Marathon. The dream started 3 years ago when Freddie and Sir Branson were participating in an event in Cape Town. The event was sponsored by Virgin Active South Africa, it was a huge and success event they wanted to replicate. Because of the atmosphere of the event they experienced they wanted to bring that home and involve communities.

Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon {Pre-event}

Virgin Sport was launched January 2017 with the aim for everyone to participate in running event. These events would cater both to the spectators as well as participants, by engaging the spectators with activities like yoga. This year since it’s inception, Virgin Sport has planned 4 events with 2 already executed. Two events in London (hackney and west minister), 1 Oxford and one in San Francisco and want to grow in many more countries

The idea is to make the Oxford Half Marathon more like a ‘Fitness Festival’ where everyone can participate. Virgin Sport wants to embrace everyone, bring everyone together to be part of this great campaign to fitness. They wish to make it feel more like a fun sports festival than running a half marathon. One of the great ideas is to involve the local business to feel part of this event and not just another marathon.

Tips on Marathon Training and Nutrition

The Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon will be held on Sunday 8th October 2017 in Oxford (obviously duh!). Participation will be capped 10,000 runners, medals will be given and locals will be serving foods. As mentioned Virgin Sport wants to involve as many local businesses as possible.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Hall, a personal trainer and Leva Alaunyte, Lucozade sport scientist. These lovely folks were kind enough to give us some tips on half marathon training preparation and nutrition. Marathons, half or full are not the kind of sports who just wake up one day and do. There is a lot of training and body conditioning that needs to take place. Here are some of the tips you might need if you’re preparing for the marathon

  • Planning and Preparation is the key, if you’ve done 10k chances of running half marathon is high.
    • Address your weakness, look at what is driving you to run that race. You’re only as strong as your weakest link; strength based training first then running .
  • Nutrition – 3 golden rules to follow before, during and after.
    • Before: Do what you’re comfortable with and what works for your body. Do not change anything the morning before or of the race. Enjoy your favourite breakfast, hydration before the race (couple of hours before).
    • During: Little or nothing, sip little water  but do not overdo it and believe in yourself.
    • After:  Take up electrolyte and eat energy bars final is believe in yourself. You know what works best for your body like you do with training.

 

Tips after marathon

  • keep moving and don’t do more miles before the race, do less, tape it down
  • After the race, get a massage and spend half an hour just getting pampered
  • Listen to your body, take sips of water throughout the race, allows you to be hydrated
  • Carbohydrates consume water so be careful with hydration
  • Post race diet: re-hydrate, replenishing what you lose (water, carbs, electrolytes) and repair – have about 20 grams protein


Local Communities and Spectator Involvement

Virgin Sport does not want to be just another company that runs marathons and leaves at the end. It ultimate goal is to get local community involvement as well as support charities. Working with local business, by providing discounts to runners who show medals. They have also set up a school challenge where primary and  secondary school children get involved in sports. As it stands over 400 children are involved in this challenge to get activity.

Virgin Sport aims to elevate the overall performance of the sports and hoping to expand. The fitness festival will involve spectators by providing; walking routes, fitness hub for the runners and other activities.

I am truly excited to be part of and participate in the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon.

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  • Blair Villanueva

    Looks like you had amazing fun, and their initiative is truly helpful! Awesome šŸ™‚

  • Rose Ann Sales

    Looks like a fun and great event will happen,Really awesome ideas,surely a lot of people will participate there!great!

  • OhNikka

    This seems like a great event! What a good way to bring folks together and celebrate fitness goals!!!

  • Amanda

    It is so much fun that races are now being turned into events with pre parties and post celebrations. Kudos to all those runners out there ready to tackle the half marathon!

  • I had never heard of Virgin Sport before now. What a great way to bring people together and celebrate fitness goals. My son is a runner and I can appreciate your tips, especially electrolytes.

  • This seems like a wonderful event. I always commend people who do marathons and half marathons. They really take a lot of work.

  • Pam

    Virgin Sport sounds like it has some awesome goals. Thanks for sharing these tips for marathon prep.

  • Shannon Graham

    I could never run a marathon. i think what you guys do is super awesome though.

    • Girl I am with you there, I am glad my sister is running but glad to be part of this campaign. I will walk though to catch up with her

  • Rachel Akers

    This looks like a great event. Anything that gives back to charity is a great organization.

    • I couldn’t agree more, and it was such a lovely event to be part of

  • Virgin Sport has some awesome goals and I’m glad they’re keeping charity in mind .This should be an awesome marathon for community involvement!

    • They should do and yes we were delighted to learn of charity involvement as well as local businesses.

  • Christy Maurer

    I have friends who run marathons and half marathons and everything else! I cannot imagine doing one, but this location looks amazing.

    • I know right, marathons can be daunting but I am planning to participate next year. I have been motivated enough and hope I can do it

  • I’ve always wanted to run a marathon but never made it past a 3K and almost walked all of it šŸ™‚

    • Atleast you tried it, if I could walk the whole marathon I would

  • I’ve personally never done a marathon. I think I’d keel out in the middle of it. But this is a lovely area, I’d certainly walk around it.

    • I know the feeling, I am planning to do the walking in the spectators area

  • chubskulit

    I have been training but never have the guts to do a marathon yet. I don’t think my strength would last but I will never know if I don’t try it. I would love to participate even to just one race though.

    • I think if you’ve been doing the training anywhere then you should give it a try and experience it even just once

  • Jeanette

    Sounds like it is a great race. You have wonderful tips here. I have never done a marathon but my goal at some point is to at least do one. Looks like you had a great party at that house. It must’ve been a lot of fun.

    • We had a lovely time at the house preparing for the half marathon which is in a month’s time.

  • I’m sure my uncle is taking part in this one as well! Good luck to you all who do it.

    • Oh how nice! Good luck to him too

  • I’ve never run or walked in any races. I’ve thought about joining one, but they seem to intimidate me so much. Love that you did this!

    • I am in the same boat as you but instead of being intimidated the pre-event actually helped me decide to participate next year.

  • Candy Kage

    I would need a massage after running a marathon. Beautiful area.

    • I feel like I would need one before and after lol

  • Alli Smith

    It’s so important to prepare properly before running a half marathon. I’m not a runner, but my daughter is and I’m always amazed at the training that goes into this. I love how Virgin Sport gets the community involved!

    • It truly is incredible seeing the marathon runners prepare, my sister is preparing for this one and its been intense but also fun

  • Tomi_C

    Congrats on your upcoming half marathon. I’ve yet to run a marathon but I have participated in several 5k and 10 k fun runs and plan on running a 1/2 soon. I have to work my way up to it.

    • You’ve done more than I ever have, this is incredible to be a part of.